'Unicorn' ride makes for special Thanksgiving for girl

BRADENTON (FOX 13) - On Thanksgiving morning, a little girl's dream came true. She rode a unicorn, on the beach, at sunrise.

It was all thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. They stepped up to help 4-year-old Tess, who was adopted from China three years ago.

"We knew when we adopted her that she had a significant congenital heart defect. So Tess has had two open-heart surgeries. The last one was in April and afterwards she suffered cardiac arrest," her mother Becky explained. "Thankfully, Make-A-Wish has offered her the chance of a lifetime because she's such a heroic little girl."

Tess told Make-A-Wish that her favorite things were "the beach" and "unicorns," so they found a way to combine all of those things.

BeachHorses brought out several horses and ponies for Tess and her family to ride, then came the big reveal: A white horse -- complete with a rainbow mane and tail, decked out in glitter, and sporting a 'horn' -- gave her a ride she'll never forget.

Even a pod of dolphins swam by, surprising the family.

"Cool!" Tess shouted, offering a thmubs-up from high upon the 'unicorn.'

"There were tears, for sure," her mother added. "This has been a long time coming for Tess and I'm just so grateful to be here today. We're truly thankful to everyone who helped put this together for her."

The family will be in town for a few more days before heading home to Wisconsin.

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